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Kansas company buys McKee properties in NGA site for $3.2 million

Maria Altman | St. Louis Public Radio

Several of Paul McKee’s properties within the proposed footprint of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency were sold at auction on Tuesday.

The company that put the 46 parcels on the auction block - Titan Fish Two - had the winning bid of $3.2 million. It’s the same company that filed suit against McKee’s Northside Regeneration in April, claiming it’s owed more than $17 million over defaulted loans.

St. Louis’ Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority also bid on several of the properties but fell far short of Titan Fish Two, offering a little more than $480,000 for the properties.

It’s not clear why Titan Fish Two bid more than the LCRA, especially as all of the land is within the proposed NGA footprint. The city’s Board of Aldermen has authorized the use of eminent domain to help the city acquire the land.

Titan Fish Two’s managing member Joseph Campbell offered no comment. He said the company would say more next week.

Mayor Francis Slay's spokeswoman Maggie Crane said the city will move forward in buying the land within the proposed footprint for the NGA.

"We will continue assembling the site --regardless of who owns the properties within it -- to keep the NGA in the City of St. Louis, along with its 3,100 jobs and $1.6 billion planned investment," Crane said in an emailed statement. "We will take the responsible steps necessary to acquire the property necessary for the NGA site and be good stewards of taxpayers' money in the process."

McKee's spokesman Jim Gradl released a statement late Tuesday.

"The sale of property today in north St. Louis will not adversely affect the Northside Regeneration project and our continuing plans and efforts for this community," he said in the statement. "The sales do not affect the efforts to retain the NGA and we will continue to support the city's efforts, as well."

The sale was going to include 47 parcels, but an error in the public notice prevented the auction of one parcel.

Follow Maria on Twitter: @radioaltman

Maria is the newscast, business and education editor for St. Louis Public Radio.